This poem arose from the same source that inspired Lermontov to write his novel ‘A Hero of Our Time’, a fabulous literary work, especially if you like Romanticism or Russian literature. The main character, Pechorin, is a superfluous man, just like Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, which is a Russian version of the Byronic hero; he’s a pessimistic and cynic man prone to self-destruction who feels superior to his surroundings and yet does nothing to use his potentials, a strong sense of boredom and absurdity of life drives him to lonely wanderings, restlessly seeking oblivion. The lyrical subject of this poem shares his thoughts of sadness and boredom with life, following the path of the superfluous man, viewing life as a cruel joke. This poem is very dear to me because I have the same thoughts on life; I am a melancholic soul, and if it wasn’t for the beauty of art, poetry and rock music, I wouldn’t see any purpose of life at all. Life without art isn’t a life at all.
‘It’s boring and sad, and there’s no one around
In times of my spirit’s travail…
Desires!…What use is our vain and eternal desire?..
While years pass on by – all the best years!
To love…but love whom?.. a short love is vexing,
And permanent love’s just a myth.
Perhaps look within? – The past’s left no trace:
All trivial, joys and distress…
What good are the passions? For sooner or later
Their sweet sickness ends when reason speaks up;
And life, if surveyed with cold-blooded regard,-
Is stupid and empty – a joke…‘